Duncan Riley> Welcome to guides, the new category here on The Blog Herald that will now include all of the good stuff: tips, advice and the highlighting of the people and places to help you with your blogging. Sure, there’s been plenty of this before, but its normally gone under the comment category. Comment will now be exclusively for rants and opinion pieces, whilst guides will be where you can find some help and guidance in the wide world of blogging. I’ll also be looking at going back over some old posting to re-categorise them as well to make them easier to find.
Duncan Riley> Perhaps to the delight of some in the Blogosphere, The Blog Herald has been dumped from Google News for the display of “non-news-related” material, in particular, the occasional posts of advice, tips and how-to’s in relation to blogging that have been a feature of the site from Day 1.
I was advised of the move of April 19 and the last post appeared on Google News on Anzac Day, April 25.
Duncan Riley> The blogosphere is buzzing about the inclusion of RSS ads on Jason Calacanis’ Weblogsinc network, but I’m yet to see anyone take notes on the actual ads they are serving up, and at this point I’ve got to say, they have a long, long way to go to actually meet any expectations of contextual advertising and to provide a worthwhile service.
A scan through my Weblogsinc feeds this morning resulted in nearly all RSS ads being titled “Get Paid to Take Survey” for the site clicksurveys.com. Of the 20-30 or so posts, I could find only two different ads, one for Google competitor Mamma, and an ad for beating adwords.
The great thing about Google’s Adsense program that in delivering advertising to blogs, the ads are relevant to the users and in many cases can actually add to the viewers experience. What’s currently being served up in the RSS ads this morning on the Webloginc feeds (I subscribe to Jason Calacanis, the Unofficial Google and Yahoo sites) was not only irrelevant to what I was reading, but a complete and utter waste of time and space as well. I’d be interested to see what sort of traffic Calacanis gets from the exercise, and to some extent there will also be some novelty click thrus as well (yes, I clicked on one just to see that it worked), but if this is what’s dished up I can’t see a lot of extra money being made by a company that already does $1400 a day in Adsense advertising.
Duncan Riley> Microsoft is currently developing blogging-related tools to be included in the next version of MS Frontpage, according to a tip from a Microsoft insider I received this morning following my post on Microsoft and the future of Six Apart Tuesday.
The insider stated that the decision to integrate blogging-related tools, whilst it had been considered for some time, is now being given greater impetus following the announcement that Adobe GoLive CS2 will include a set of visual tools to create and update MT and TypePad templates from within the GoLive design environment, as announced on April 5.
Further information on the matter was not provided in the email, but the move would follow the recent integration of posting tools for MSN Spaces blogs into the widely used Microsoft Messenger.
Google is continuing to roll out its RSS advertising trial with Jason Calicanis’ Weblogs Inc joining the trial across a number of its blogs.
Calacanis writes that the ads means that he can now justify the provision of full feeds to readers and that other sites “stealing” Weblogs Inc. content will now be providing advertising for the company.
Six Apart and Nokia have announced that users of Six Apart LiveJournal can now post text to their blogs using mobile phone blogging tool Nokia Lifeblog. LiveJournal users with paid accounts will also now be able to upload photos as well.
“With LiveJournal support, Nokia Lifeblog now has the potential to reach almost 7 million LiveJournal users,” said Christian Lindholm, director of Multimedia Applications, Nokia Ventures Organization. “[we] believe this is an enormous advantage for operators and other service providers, who want to offer their customers the best mobile blogging experience available.”
The software to enable Nokia phones to use the new service is available online at www.nokia.com/lifeblog.
Issue Dynamics, Inc., known best in the blogosphere for its blogad campaign for the United Church of Christ, has launched a formal Blogger Relations Practice and a companion website. The establishment of the new Blogger Relations Practice is attributed to a shift in client needs and increased attention to blogs by business and the media.
“Our standard Internet and public affairs practices have been incorporating blog strategies into our client work plans for years now, and the blog slice of the pie has been getting bigger and bigger,” says Ken Deutsch, IDI’s Executive Vice President. “Looking at the needs of our clients and the attention blogs are finally getting in the business community now seemed the right time to launch a dedicated Blogger Relations practice.”
Community blogging host 21Publish has signed a licensing deal with Amnesty International Germany to build a fully customized blogging community where local amnesty chapters can set up and run individual blogs with a standardized design,that will identify them as Amnesty International blogs.
“The participation of our local groups is an extremely important part of our battle for human rights. With 21publish we will be able to provide a voice on the Internet to all of our local groups and to strengthen Amnesty’s presence on the Internet” said Klaus H. Walter of Amnesty International Germany. “We selected 21Publish because it allows to conveniently manage a service for hundreds of weblogs with no programming, no installation and no maintenance cost on our side.”
“We are thrilled that amnesty international Germany has selected us to provide a solution for their web publishing needs,” said Wiskemann. “21Publish will allow amnesty international to benefit from a distributed content management that enables independent blog sites and additional fund raising”.
Despite promoting a policy of transparency amongst his Webloginc blogs, Jason McCabe Calacanis has been keeping a secret: he is engaged to be married.
In a post about his current trip to Europe, Calacanis mentions that he has a FiancÃ©e for the first time.
No details are provided as to who the lucky bride to be is, or when the wedding is. However according to Google the post is the first time Calacanis has mentioned being engaged on a blog.
The Open Media Netowrk was launched today to give users worldwide access to public television and radio programming, movies, podcasts and video blogs, while fully protecting the producers’ copyrights.
Open Media Network (OMN) was founded by Internet pioneer and Netscape veteran Mike Homer and includes Marc Andreessen as an advisor and board member. The service offers users a broad selection of free public programs with a simple TV-style program guide and automatic background deliveries of favorite scheduled programming. Content producers can easily add their programming to the network, with unlimited free delivery of their shows and with digital rights protection. Through the service, consumers can view the content on multiple devices, including PCs and iPods today and televisions and cell phones by this summer.
“Widespread broadband adoption, mass market video creation tools and technologies such as RSS are transforming communication, entertainment and information,” said Mike Homer, founder of the Open Media Foundation which produces OMN. “Our goal with Open Media Network is to provide a valuable public service that gives consumers an easy way to get both traditional and grassroots media authorized for Internet distribution and help usher in a new era in mass publishing.”
Open Media Network is powered by grid delivery technology from Kontiki, which already provides secure delivery of content libraries for a range of companies such as Ernst & Young, Verizon, AOL and the BBC. Kontiki’s grid delivery technology speeds the distribution of video and music files by allowing participants to share unused bandwidth on their computers and servers. There are already over 20 million users of Kontiki’s technology today.